BMW 3-Series
BMW 3-Series
BMW 3-Series

2021 BMW 330i

Pros: Outstanding agility and ride/handling balance; satisfying power and respectable fuel economy

Cons: Steep pricing; somewhat stingy on standard features; manual transmission not available for most models; stiff ride

CG Says: The 2021 BMW 3-Series gains new Plug-in Hybrid 330e models. The 330e and all-wheel-drive 330e xDrive can travel 22 miles (2WD) or 20 miles (AWD) on electric power alone.

The high-performance M3 returns and the M3 Competition model is capable of accelerating 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. The M340 gains a hybrid system, but horsepower remains unchanged at 382. Android Auto functionality has been added and satellite radio is now standard.

BMW’s benchmark 3-Series is a premium midsize sedan that was redesigned for 2019. The base 330i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that develops 255 horsepower. The M340i has a 382-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The Plug-in Hybrid 330e is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a combined 288 horsepower.

For the 330i, M340, and 330e models an 8-speed automatic is the only transmission and rear-wheel drive is standard, with available all-wheel drive. The high-performance M3 has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six that develops 473 hp in the base M3 or 503 hp in Competition models.

The M3 offers the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive will be available for the M3 Competition midyear.

Available features for the 3-Series include laser-powered headlights, Parking Assistant, Back-Up Assistant, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot alert, and Extended Traffic Jam Assistant (which can steer and brake the car on certain highways at speeds up to 37 mph, provided the driver’s attention is on the road).

Historically, the BMW 3-Series has dominated the premium compact car segment, thanks to its sport-sedan handling, polished powertrains, and all-around refinement. In recent years, however, improved rivals have challenged the 3-Series and bested it in many ways.

Purist driving enthusiasts will bemoan the redesigned 3-Series’s lack of a manual transmission on most models, but the new car is still a marked improvement over its predecessor; it adds welcome new technology features while maintaining the trademark athletic driving moves and upping the overall refinement level.

The Facts
Class Premium Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Manufacturer BMW
Nation of Manufacture Mexico, Germany
Base Prices 330i: $42,245
AWD 330i xDrive: $44,245
M340i: $55,695
AWD M340i xDrive: $57,695
M3: $70,895
M3 Competition: $73,795
AWD M3 Competition xDrive: NA
Plug-in Hybrid 330e: $45,545
AWD Plug-in Hybrid 330e xDrive: $47,545

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (330i)
Horsepower
255
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
25-26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
34-36

Optional Engine
turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder/electric motor (M340i)
Horsepower
382
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
22-23
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
31-32

Optional Engine
turbocharged 3.0-liter six (M3, M3 Competition)
Horsepower
473 (503 in M3 Competition)
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
8-speed atomatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
16
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
23

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder/electric motor (330e)
Horsepower
288
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA Gas Engine Combined (mpg)
25-28
EPA Electric Engine Combined (MPGe)
67-75

BMW 3-Series M3 Competition
2021 BMW M3 Competition
BMW 3-Series M340i
2021 BMW M340i
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 5
100%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 5
100%
Side Crash - 5
100%
Rollover - 5
100%

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